How to Fix a Loose Headphone Jack

Most people prefer listening to music on their computers or smart devices using headphones; that’s a given fact. Therefore, damages are expected to happen, and trying to fix them is an experience each one of us has to go through at least once in their life.

One of the most common accidents that happen when using headphones is that the jack may become loose making connecting the headset to the device transmitting audio difficult. So, we’ll talk today about how to fix a loose headphone jack, in addition to other things that will make this problem less likely to happen in the future and make your headphones, jack and all, last longer.

First of all, not all headphone jacks are the same. So, in order to know how to fix a loose headphone jack, you have to know what type you have to be able to fix it properly.

Types of headphone jacks

  • Lightning jack: lightning jacks are different from other types of headphone jacks with how good they are at delivering audio without any kind of reduction in quality. There’s no problem causing compression. The headphone’s pinpoint has an ID1 identifier with control 1. Micro-jack and ID0 identifier/ control 0.
  • Vention’s 2.5 mm Micro-jack: this one belongs to a well-known brand name company. As expected, the jack is 2.5 milliliters in width. It is not popular or commonly used these days since it only handles audio files solely (not videos), and since mini jacks are more in use instead.
  • 3.5 mm Mini-jack: this is a widely known and used type of jack. No matter what company produces the audio devices, most likely many of the company’s products will have a 3.5 mm mini-jack. Although some companies have converted to USB type-c, many still use the 3.5 mini-jack. a 2.5 mm connector can be connected to a 3.5 mm mini-jack but not the other way around.
  • 6.3 mm headphone jack: A rarely used, commonly unknown kind of jack. Only music professionals and sound equipment technicians would be familiar with it. It also has two different types, two-pin 6.3 mm jacks and three-pin 6.3 mm jacks.
  • Micro-USB Type-c jack: Apple was the first electronics company to use this jack instead of the common, largely known, and used 3.5 mm jack. After that, many other smart-device brands and manufacturers have followed their lead. It is a sound decision since the Micro-USB Type-c jack has greatly enhanced audio quality.

After learning a little bit about the types of jacks, you must know now which one of them yours is. So, how to check your headphone jack for damages and malfunctions?

Checking the headphone jack:

Seeing as the 3.5 mm jack is the most commonly used type of jacks. We will talk about checking it. Follow these steps:

  • The device that has the jack should be on, so turn on your smartphone, tablet, TV, laptop, or whatever device that has the jack you’re going to check.
  • Put the connector (plug) of your headphones in that jack. Make sure your headphones are new and are in working condition. Some devices give you a sign that headphones are attached; check that as well. Run an audio file.
  • If there are still no sounds coming from the headphones, check if you are applying the mute option. Run the settings related to sound control. Try adjusting the volume while running an audio file.
  • The damage, sometimes, lies in the device, not the headphones or their jack. If the device you’re connecting your headphones to is a computer, make sure the audio drivers are properly installed and updated, and that their files are not corrupted or damaged.
  • If you are done with all of the above steps, and there is still no sound, then start checking the headphone jack carefully. Most probably, something is jammed inside obstructing connection with the device.
  • If you feel something off when trying to connect the headset connector to the headset jack, like the connector falling off the jack or not staying in place or not reaching the end and you can still see the metal part of the connector, most likely the jack is loose. This is the most telling sign of the loose jack being the problem.

So, now that we know the problem actually lies in the loose headphone jack, how to fix it? Here are some possible solutions. Be warned though, some of these methods are somewhat drastic and if you are going to resort to them, you might as well use your device’s warranty; it is not mere ink on paper.

How to fix a loose headphone jack:

  • Try putting the headphones’ connector in a different jack, in a different device. Does it stick this time? If it doesn’t then the problem is not your device’s headphone jack. It is possibly the connector of the headphones. Maybe you need to have an electronics technician check your headphones’ connector.
  • Like we have detailed in the section about jack types, not all jacks have the same size or shape. Similarly, not all connectors have the same shape or size. It is also possible that the headphones’ connector is of the right size but rough continuous use has damaged it enough to prevent it from plugging properly into the jack. In this case, you need to get new headphones.
  • Sometimes, things might get jammed inside the jack resulting in obstruction. This means the plug of the headphones won’t be able to connect properly to the device. Lint, dirt, or even the connector itself may be jammed inside the jack. Hold the device with the jammed jack facing some strong lighting to see what’s clogging it. After that, you would have to resort to use a toothpick or a blunt-tipped pin to unclog the jack. Maybe you would even have to wrap a small piece of adhesive tape around the pin before unclogging the jack so that the obstructing debris sticks to it. A broken piece of the plug getting stuck inside would need a different solution. 
  • Even though it happens rarely, rust and corrosion, either of the plug or the jack, might be causing the problem. This is a rare occurrence with high-quality brand name devices since they are made of rustproof brass plated with nickel-chromium for better performance and connectivity. However, if this is the case, buy a new headset if the plug is rusty. Have a technician replace the jack if it is rusty; you will know that if you see some rust sticking to the plug.
  • Make sure the smart device’s cover is not in the way. This might sound lame enough to be embarrassing, but you wouldn’t believe how often this is the case. The space for the headphone jack is not wide enough so you face difficulty when plugging the connector into the jack and the jack seems loose.

 I hope you manage to use the solutions and info in this article to fix the loose headphone jack. Remember that your phone is warranted, so if the solutions feel too invasive or much of a hassle, head to the nearest service center of your device’s brand and have the jack fixed.

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